Tag Archives: Real World

A Prayer for Our Country

A Prayer for Our Country

Last week I was sitting in church when we began singing these lyrics . . .

“We call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive!
We call out to dead hearts, come alive!”

At the time I had no idea what our sermon would be about.  However, here is what came to my mind.  At this time in our country’s history, what would happen if we as a church began to cry out to our political leaders and institutions the invitation to come alive and if we called out to God to revive the dead hearts found in the halls of our country’s government institutions?  How would our country change?  This isn’t about a political party or affiliation.  I hope that we are not naive enough to believe that any human party has a corner on the market of Christ-likeness.  This is about realizing the need for us as a church to be about the business of the Kingdom.

One of my religion professors in college once said this, “The Kingdom of Heaven is not a pipe dream.”  In other words, when Jesus entered this world he ushered in the Kingdom of Heaven and while it may not reach completion until we arrive in heaven, that in no way negates the fact that he calls his followers to be about the business of bringing that kingdom here and now.  We are positioned at exactly the time and place that needs the Church.  Needs us to reject the idea that one ideology or political party has all the answers.  Needs us to reject the notion that we have to question each other’s faith if we question their vote.  Needs us to reject the easy path of only listening to those who agree with us.  We need to engage, to listen, to love, and to fight for the Kingdom of Heaven.  It is not a pipe dream and we have a responsibility to work towards its realization on earth.

So, as I sat in my seat and listened to the song I began to pen this prayer.  And as the sermon began I was surprised to find the message was connected to this same topic.  Maybe God was trying to tell me something.  Maybe he’s trying to tell us all.  Will you join with me in praying this over our country?  And will you join me in the fighting to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth?

Be with our leaders—in each branch of our government
Be with our leaders—in community organizations, churches, and non-profits
Be with our leaders—in town councils, schools, and emergency services
And be with us—the citizens who stand in this divided time

Where there are dry bones and dead hearts, we call out “come alive!”
Where there are hardened hearts, we pray that you would open them with your grace
Where we have closed ourselves off, we pray that you would break our hearts for what breaks your
Where there is fear that has left us paralyzed or hiding behind closed doors, remind us of your
frequent call to “fear not” and strengthen us in your power
Where there is mistrust and resentment, enable us to risk understanding where others are coming

Where there is hurt and past scars, give us the grace to forgive and move forward
Where there is selfishness and greed, reorient us to your kingdom values
Where there is hatred and anger, overpower us with your love and allow us to see our enemies as
your children whom you love with an overwhelming fierceness
Where there is division, fill us with unity, help us to be peacemakers

Help our leaders
Help our churches
Help us
          to be the standard bearers of your image
          to honor you with our words and actions
          to stand for all your children
          to remember who our neighbors are
          to work to bring your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven
Help us, Oh Lord


Blog Challenge: Day 4


Happy Fourth of July everyone!  I hope you had a great day full of food, fireworks, and fun.  Today is day four of the blog challenge and the task is to write about a song that reminds you of a particular time and place.  For me this is fairly easy–music is a huge part of my life, and I feel like there is always a soundtrack playing in the background.  For example, I once took a vacation in the Smoky Mountains and for the entire time played two albums–Corinne Bailey Rae and Arabic Groove.  Two very different choices, but now they always take me back to that trip and the little red PT Cruiser I rented to drive me through the mountains.  

But today’s challenge calls for a specific song, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite memories, and a song I love-“Gravity” by Sara Bareilles.  Every time I hear that song it takes me back to a time when I was living in the “Real World House” in Orlando.  Not the real Real World, of course.  That’s just what we called it.  It was a huge house with five bedrooms and it was home to eight of us–spread out all over the place.  One guy even slept in a closet under the stairs, all Harry Potter style.  We were all creative types–actors, dancers, singers, artists, and authors.  Oh, and me–who does all those things, but not professionally.  Everyone else in the house got paid for their art.  It was a lot of fun, and sometimes a lot of drama.  

One night I was watching So You Think You Can Dance with Joey–the actor/dancer/performer who lived in the closet under the stairs.  That show was always a big hit in our house.  Anyway, on came that song and we watched the choreography of Mia Michaels come to life with “The Addiction Dance.”  It was so amazing.  Breathtaking.   By far my favorite piece of choreography ever.  And so every time I hear that song I’m transported back to that moment and that performance.

I’m also reminded of what happened 15 minutes later, when Joey and I got up and attempted to reenact the routine in the living room.  Did I mention that Joey is about 4’10” and less than 1/2 the size of me.  We’re dancing around tables and sofas and the huge amount of junk that piles up when eight people live in a house.  He pretending to be sadistic and evil, and me a hopeless addict.  There are no words for how funny that was.  No words. 

So that’s my song memory.  What’s yours?  

And check out what Karla was singing and dancing to.